The 24 Best Wisconsin Festivals and Campgrounds

The state of Wisconsin offers such pure beauty that will grab your heart, your mind and your family and it won’t let go!  The best Wisconsin  festivals, as well as The best Wisconsin campgrounds, are the pride of this nature lovers state but, don’t be fooled because our big cities have much to offer too.  Let’s take a look at The 24 Best Wisconsin Festivals and Campgrounds, ready?

Wisconsin Festivals in January

Winterfest in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve is a day full of activities that will make you come back year after year.  Check out the list of things to do on this great day in January; snowshoe demos, frozen turkey bowling, snow sculptures, candy cane tree treasure hunt, ice skating, and our favorite the sledding hill.  The warming fires will keep everyone warm between activities and the concessions will keep everyone’s tummy full all day. Click here to find out all about this wonderful opportunity to enjoy Wisconsin winters.

Are you a super serious winter camper?  Then Wildcat Mountain State Park will not disappoint your family.  After enjoying Winterfest head to Wildcat for the perfect place for cross country skiing and other winter activities.  There are many trails including horse trails! If you don’t own a horse or won’t be traveling with your horse there are horses for rent in nearby Ontario, WI. Come back in the summer for fishing and kayaking.  See more about Wildcat Mountain State Park by clicking here.

If you are not a winter camper then we have found the perfect cottage to snuggle up in after Winterfest. Trillium Cottage has two private cottages on an adorable farm tucked into the hills of the Kickapoo Valley.  

If your travels take you to the Southern part of Wisconsin then the Hot Chocolate Festival in Burlington, Wi is a fun family outing for you!  This three day festival starts with, of course, hot chocolate, ice skating and campfire storytelling. Day two brings hot chocolate tasting, chili tasting, broomball, and snowman decorating.  On Sunday your family can run in the Cabin Fever 5K, and finish up with a day of sledding. Can you believe all the activities they have packed into this festival? Read more here about what your family will enjoy at Hot Chocolate Festival in Burlington, Wi.

Don’t let the name fool you, Richard Bong State Recreation Area, is a regular state park, no silly stuff here.  The campground has sites that are open year round with plenty of winter activities.  If you come back in the summer, there is an amazing ATV trail!

Wisconsin Festivals in February

Even though,February brings the harshest weather to Wisconsin and across the United States, we just must get out into nature and enjoy our family.  Don’t be worried about the chill your family will be having such an amazing time, there won’t be any worries. Lake Geneva has a packed nine days of Winterfest, but our favorite part is The United States Ice Sculpting Competition!  The most amazing sculptures that will blow away even your hard to please teen! The shops of downtown Lake Geneva can round out your day, or stay for more of the Winterfest activities throughout Lake Geneva. This list of activities is packed full, for everyone in your family.

Wisconsin camping in February will be a challenge, but we know some of you will be up for the cold!  Lake Geneva has it own Wisconsin State Park, Bigfoot Beach State Park.  Cross country skiing trails are available and there are short hiking trails.

Not camping this time?  Then indulge and stay at The Historic Hotels of Lake Geneva, which include Baker House and Maxwell Mansion.  The accommodations include so many luxury options that will fit your family you will want to come back over and over.  Our family loves the look and feel of Maxwell Mansion, check it all out here.  Oh, did I say these homes are on the National Historic Hotels of America list?  Well, they are!

Fish Creek in Door County Wisconsin is best known for its summer activities, but do not miss out on Winter Festival in February.    This festival features live music, quirky games, delicious food and fireworks! You will thank us for telling you about the Chili Cook-off at the festival, so yummy!!!  Look at all the fun here!

We love to share one of our favorite camping spots in the state whether it is February or August, Peninsula State Park is a camper’s heaven.  The view is astounding and there are activities galore. Winter camping can’t be beat at Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.  There is even a sledding hill on the state park golf course.  Our recent visit was in August, so don’t forget to go back in the summer.

Wisconsin Festivals in March

March starts to mix the chill of winter with the warmth of spring, and a perfect time to travel to small Wisconsin towns.

New London, Wisconsin goes for the gusto by changing up the town’s name for Saint Patrick’s Day to New Dublin.  With a large Irish population New London has been celebrating St. Patrick’s day with a large parade, live music and a classic beer tent for many years.  This week long celebration includes a community Irish Céili, that our family loves to attend.  Let’s take a look at all the fun here.

We have a very biased recommendation for campgrounds around New London, Wisconsin.  Hucklberry Acres is a private campground with beautiful campsites, bar, food and fun family activities.  My mother’s family founded the campground and dug the spring fed lake (just one of the reasons we love this place!)  They haven’t been owners of the campground for over thirty years but we still love it! The new owners are still developing the website, but find them on Facebook here.

March is a great time to take a look at new campers or trailers and find out what is new for outdoor recreation.  In the southern part of the state you will find the Milwaukee RV show at State Park in March. Central Wisconsin can attend the Central Wisconsin RV and Camping Show in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Stay at the beautiful Council Grounds Wisconsin State Park during the RV show, seems appropriate!  This state park provides electric and non-electric sites, hiking trails, and the fishing right on the Wisconsin River is perfect…and it has a pier (we love fishing piers!)  Read more about Council Grounds State Park here.

Wisconsin Festivals in April

It’s spring in Wisconsin and we are ready to be out and about, experiencing our state and making memories with our families.  In April head up North, or as some Wisconsinites say “Up Nort” to enjoy a Wisconsin favorite maple syrup harvesting. The town of Phelps will welcome you and show you how to make maple syrup!  Start planning today by clicking here.

Just fifteen minutes away from Phelps is the historic Gateway Lodge, if your not ready for camping yet.  This lodge is so magical and such a comforting place to stay. Your family will love the activities and the beautiful nature scenery.  Make your reservations now.

River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Music Festival gives us all a great place to listen to music while experiencing amazing food and community.  Experience the beer and wine tasting, jam sessions, flapjacks and fiddles, barn dance, petting zoo, songwriters competition and over forty hours of live music!  How fun! See some details from the 2018 festival here!  More on the 2019 coming.

Ready for camping? Wisconsin State Park offers such amazing opportunities for tent camping.  Now, if you have an RV, don’t fret, our state parks have great RV sites too! Willow River State Park will be a great place to hang-out during the River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Music Festival!  It is only 15 minutes away from the festival and the perfect place to throw-up a tent or park a trailer. The river and waterfalls are beautiful and if you are a fisherman, or woman, bring your poles!  Find out if Willow River State Park is the place for you here.

Wisconsin Festivals in May

SunDrop soda can be purchased in many states, but the people of Shawano, Wisconsin believe the SunDrop they make with Shawano water produces the absolute BEST SunDrop Soda.  So much so, that they have created SunDrop Dayz in Shawano, Wisconsin the last weekend in May! All of our favorite festival activities are involved in the festival from a 5K, to live music and inflatables, to a basketball clinic and lessons on fishing!  So many fun activities. Make plans to attend here!

If your camping trip includes tent camping or trailer camping you have many choices in Shawano.  You might want to try the Shawano County Campground right on Shawano Lake with access to a boat launch and more fun campground amenities.  Check out the Shawano County Campground here.

A Wisconsin campground that is perfect for the whole family is Pine Grove Campground in Shawano.  If you are searching for RV campgrounds then Pine Grove is what you are looking for in a fun family place to stay.  Pine Grove has mini-golf, fishing, swimming, playground, basketball, volleyball, boats, tiki-hut and food! Nearby you can golf and horseback ride too!  Not a camper, then rent a cabin at Pine Grove. See some great pictures and make reservations here.

Wisconsinites cannot get enough of our farmers, and even though June is Dairy Month, this year Dairy Days in West Salem happens to start in May!  With a parade, car show, music, carnival and a whole host of fun activities Dairy Days reminds us all about the importance of farmers.

Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort is an excellent choice for camping with your family during Dairy Days!  Our kids would love the beach and pool! They love to do the beach in the morning and then a pool in the afternoon, and this resort looks like it will meet all their demands!  There are fun arts and crafts, volleyball, and other outdoor fun. Do you travel with pets? The rentals at Neshonoc are pet friendly!!

Wisconsin Festivals in June

On the NorthWestern side of Wisconsin you will find a very tight knit community, Baldwin, Wi.  Once the winter and spring is over, friends and family want to get together, outside while having a blast.  This community invites us all to their June Bug Days!!  This festival will have you and your kids dancing to live music, playing pickleball, taking helicopter rides and of course throwing balls to knock over the pins at the carnival.  Don’t miss this celebration of summer!

Camp nearby at Willow River State Park and enjoy hiking, fishing, boating and swimming!  Take a hike on any one of the twelve beautiful trails, Burkhardt trail will take you to the waterfall.  Willow State Park boasts great fishing, so bring your rods and an appetite for shore lunch! Besides June Bug days you may want to add on a few extra just to take advantage of this beautiful park.

A beautiful village about a half an hour West of Madison awaits your family, Mount Horeb.  This is one of our families favorite towns and we are so excited to share with you the Mount Horeb Summer Frolic.  This summertime fun festival in the middle of the state will have music, parades, contests and rides.  While you are in Mount Horeb make sure you find all the trolls on the Trollway by following this map.  Our kids loved finding and marking each one off the map!  Make sure you stop at the Grumpy Troll for a HUGE pretzel and pint of beer.

Shhh, we are tucking in TWO of our favorite campgrounds in the Mount Horeb area.  The first is the only Wisconsin State Park in the State Park System that has a pool, Blue Mound State Park.  Your kids will love climbing up two towers to overlook the rolling mounds of Western Wisconsin.

The second is a very popular Wisconsin State Park, Governor Dodge State Park.  Governor Dodge State Park has two large lakes for swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring.  There are miles and miles of trails and beautiful campgrounds. Lost Canyon Trail winds along the floor of a deep canyon, next to trickling creek and close by cool sandstone.  The best part of the trail is the waterfall where we play and take a million pictures.

See 30 Pictures and our blog post on our stay at Governor Dodge State Park with stops at Blue Mound State Park and Mount Horeb.

Wisconsin Festivals in July

Washington Island is one of those diamonds in the rough, that every traveller longs to find.  A place that not everyone knows about, but those that do fully understand it’s worth. People from all over the country have summer homes on this small town island, and visitors flock for a day, a week or a summer.  Our favorite event is the Washington Island 4th of July Celebration.  Your children can ride their decorated bikes with the other kids in the Bike Parade, after decorating them with red, white and blue decorations.  Meet the parade at the town ball park for a firework show that impressed even the Whyte Family! (We are a little snobby about our firework displays.)  Fold in three or four days of swimming, hiking, fishing, and the laid back atmosphere of Washington Island.

The Washington Island Campground is there to meet your camping needs!  Your kids will love the pond with inflatables and you will love the cabin rentals!  If you plan on bringing your camper it will cost extra on the ferry over to the island.  If you don’t mind the extra cost then bring your trailer to the campground. Trust me you need this trip, unplug, ride a bike, eat delicious ice cream and just kick back!  

Check out our visit to Washington Island here.

There are so many festivals to choose from in July, it was hard to pick the second festival for us to share.  We chose the Logging and Heritage Festival in Marinette because many Wisconsinites, with a long lineage in Wisconsin, have loggers in their heritage.  Learn about the logging trade as well as enjoy a car show, live music, parade, crafts and more. The weather in July is so enjoyable and this festival is the perfect time to enjoy it with your family.

Diamond Lake Campground is a great place for your family to stay in North Eastern Wisconsin.  The wooded sites and inflatables in the pond, as well as playground and fun activities will keep everyone in your family fully engaged in having FUN!

July and August are the best months to find a local County Fair!  Even though we live three hours away we always attend the Waupaca County Fair because it is small, has great live music and fun contests for our city kids!  They especially love the mini-tractor pull. Read about  10 Reasons to Visit the County Fair, then find one near you!  Support farmers in all they do, and especially at the fair.

Wisconsin Festivals in August

Pig in the Pines?  Yes, Pig in the Pines: Bacon, BBQ and Bands is our August Wisconsin Festival to attend.  I’m not sure about your family but if I say bacon, bbq and bands to mine they are “All In!”  The list of activities at this festival is unending with live music day and night, food (bacon, ribs, pulled pork), climbing wall, kids activities, Bacon Dash 5K, and more.  Not only will you have a blast at the festival but visiting St. Germain is also just about the best Wisconsin treat!

We have chosen two campgrounds located in the St. Germain area.  First, the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, where the camping does not have electricity or many of the other amenities we usually like.  Sometimes, we like to have a different experience than normal. This state forest is such a beautiful place and really can’t be missed.

A second option, if you are looking for more campground amenities, is Lynn Ann’s Campground on Big Saint Germain Lake.  With full hookups available and all the fun a private campground provides, camping at Lynn Ann’s Campground will surely be a fun adventure for your entire family..

At the most Southeastern corner of Wisconsin you will find the lakeshore city of Kenosha.  Kenosha is known for its lakefront festivals from jazz, to cheese, to kites and the ever popular Tall Ships Challenge.   Your family can tour the ships, set sail and enjoy all the fun that surrounds the tall ships.  It has been 10 years since the Tall Ships came to Kenosha, and they are super excited to have them back.  Your little pirates will be so excited!

While you are in the Kenosha area do not miss my sisters’ store, which is really more an experience than just a store.  Piccadilly will have you exploring for hours!  You may even be lucky enough to come on a weekend where there is an outside market!

We have two different campgrounds to choose from to camp during the Tall Ships Challenge.  Kenosha is in Kenosha County, and in the county is Richard Bong State Recreation Area.  Richard Bong State Rec Area provides fishing, camping, trails (horse, ATV and hiking) and more.  

Happy Acres is a private campground with a pool, fishing ponds, playgrounds and our favorite mini-golf.  The most impressive thing about Happy Acres Kampground is the amount of fun activities they plan for their guests.  The campsites are in a beautifully wooded area and their is a hiking path our boys love.

Don’t miss the Wisconsin State Fair during the month of August!  

Wisconsin Festivals in September

Our family has not been to Wo Zha Wa, but anything that celebrates “Fun Times” is where we want to be!  Tourists and locals enjoy this end of the summer celebration with arts and crafts, live music, carnival rides, and a 5K run!  The Wisconsin Dells area is one of our Wisconsin Gems. There are so many wonderful things to see and do, if you are like our family you will find trails, fishing, boating and enough outdoor activities to last a long weekend!

Holiday Shores Campground in Wisconsin Dells is our favorite private campground in Wisconsin.  Sitting on the beautiful Wisconsin River, this full service campground and marina is loaded with sunup to sundown activities.  Holiday Shores Campground has both a pool and the lake , with inflatables, to swim in which makes this our boys favorite location. The Ward family takes great pride in this family-run business, but it is much more than that.  

Read more about our two week stay at Holiday Shores by clicking here.

Ideas on what to do in Wisconsin Dells that do not include water parks, can be found here.

The Driftless Area in Wisconsin is not known to all, it isn’t flashy like the Dells or pricey like Door County.  The Driftless Area is its own quirky, comfortable, breathtaking and surprising space of Wisconsin. Celebrate the Driftless area with The Driftless Area Art Festival.  With many things to do in the Western side of the state the Art Festival will complete your long weekend.   Its hills and valleys are home to painters and potters, woodworkers and weavers, metalsmiths and musicians, vintners and brewmasters. This festival has culinary delights, the art fair, children’s art, live music and a silent auction.

Even Though Wyalusing State Park is a little over an hour away from the Art Festival, the beautiful ride through rolling hills and valleys is well worth the wait.  Even our boys unplug and watch as we drive through the Driftless Area. Wyalusing State Park is one of the premier state parks in Wisconsin.  This prized state park has canoeing, hiking and biking trails that your family will enjoy. Click here to see the many beautiful images of Wyalusing State Park.

Wisconsin Festivals in October

Oktoberfest in Cedarburg Wisconsin will bring you to the location of the best festivals in Wisconsin, Cedarburg Wisconsin!  You may be familiar with Oktoberfest but experiencing Oktoberfest in Cedarburg is the just about the best (next to Germany.)  There will be German foods and beers, wine and desserts, sausages and schnitzel. Your kids will love the silly contests and of course the merchant’s marketplace.  Check out all the other amazing festivals in Cedarburg, here.

Pike Lake State Park in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine will be the beautiful backdrop for your camping weekend during Oktoberfest.  The fall colors will be in full swing, and you will love the lake, trails and colors during your camping weekend.  This is a small campground, so get your reservations in early.

Have you ever seen those silly commercial with the two men standing in a cranberry bog?  Now, you can see how cranberries are harvested while attending a fun Wisconsin Festival.  Cranberry Fest in Eagle River, Wisconsin.  The list of fun activities is long and includes bakery items, wine and beer tent, arts and crafts, antiques, 5K, and historical information on the significance of cranberries in Wisconsin.

Once you see the pictures from Hi Pines Campground you will want to stay forever.  The tall pines and 75 acres of North Woods beauty.  Your family will love this campground with the many things to do, and the space to explore together.  If you can find yourself at Hi Pines anytime throughout the summer, you will be one lucky family.

Wisconsin Festivals in November

For all you crafters out there, or shoppers, the Winter Arts and Crafts Fair at UW Parkside in Kenosha is HUMUNGOUS craft fair!!  You will find the most unique and traditional gifts at the Winter Arts and Crafts Fair.  Local artisans will have a bountiful choice of home goods and gifts that will help you prepare for Christmas.  Wait your not done yet, make a stop at Piccadilly on your way out of town, to find the most adorable vintage and home decor items.

Ok, readers we know you like to stick to campgrounds but November in Wisconsin can turn to freezing temperatures.  We would like to introduce Eagle Home Hostel in Eagle, Wisconsin.  This adorable farm house on state land is the perfect setting for a family wanting to unplug and enjoy a quiet weekend of hiking and playing games.  The owner and host stays right with you on the property, which makes the stay all that more personal.

The Festival of Trees at the Green Bay National Railroad Museum is a perfect way for your family to start the Christmas season.  With many Christmas Trees decorated for the season your kids will love to explore the trains and trees.  If you time it right, and buy tickets you could also take a ride on The Polar Express!  

Start your day off by going to the Green Bay Holiday Parade, which is a fun parade full of floats, dancers and bands.  Our kids loved getting hot chocolate and doing the countdown to start the parade.

If you are still camping in mid-November in Wisconsin you may want to check out High Cliff State Park or Peninsula State Park.

Wisconsin Festivals in December

It’s Christmas in Wisconsin!!!  Maybe there is snow, maybe there is cold weather but for sure there is an overload of Christmas cheer everywhere you go.  Our family always went south of the border to go to the Chicago Christkindlmarket, where we would find German artisans and the most scrumptious German food, and don’t forget the hot chocolate in adorable collectors cups.  Now we don’t have to travel far by going to the new Milwaukee Christkindlmarkt!  Make this a part of your family Christmas tradition.

You will find a cozy and comfy inn downtown Milwaukee at County Clare Inn.  This is the perfect place for a holiday weekend in Milwaukee.  As the name implies this is an Irish pub and inn with amazing food, and comfort.  This will be a complete experience for your family they will never forget. German market during the day and an Irish Inn for the night.  You will want to go back year after year.

The New Richmond Heritage Center has a beautiful farmhouse decorated for Christmas, children’s activities and refreshments.  Your family can also attend the Christmas Luncheon on the Farm to take in a little historical Christmas.  This nostalgic homestead is a wonderful place to visit during the summer too, so put it on your list!

It’s a little chilly in Wisconsin for camping in December so we want to recommend one of our favorite places to stay wherever we are in Wisconsin.  The Americinn by Wyndham fits our families needs no matter where we are traveling. The lodge feel fits with our love of the outdoors and the breakfast provided gives us a chance to refuel for days of adventure.  We also love the community feeling at breakfast and sitting around the fire in the grand room. Our boys love the pool for early morning swims or as a release of energy at night before bed. Check out New Richmond’s Americinn here.

We would love to see all your pictures and stories of when you visit these festivals and campgrounds.  Please share on our social media pages.

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32 thoughts on “The 24 Best Wisconsin Festivals and Campgrounds

  1. Missy Reply

    We have not attended a festival or a campground in Wisconsin yet. I am excited that there are so many festivals.

    • admin Post authorReply

      There are SOOO many festivals in Wisconsin!! It was hard to narrow it down to 24!

  2. jen Reply

    oh my gosh! I LOVE a good festival! What a perfect way to explore someplace new or rediscover some place you’ve been to. This was a very cool post on our heartland that often gets overlooked. Love!!

  3. Pam Reply

    Okay, I want to go to all of them. This is an excellent round -up. I’ll be pinning for next time I’m in Wisconsin!

  4. Janine Reply

    I’m not sure I”m brave enough to go to Wisconsin in January. But we do have some ice castles near us and I’m hoping to go this year!

    • admin Post authorReply

      January isn’t that bad, it’s Febuary you have to avoid! Have a great time at the castles!

  5. Shirley Reply

    Oh my, how cool is this? I love that you have included all twelve months of the year for festival going. I’ve never been to Wisconsin but I would love to visit there myself after seeing your awesome photos. Thank you!

    • admin Post authorReply

      Wisconsin is the best place to visit June – October, so much to do and beautiful weather.

  6. Brandi Reply

    This looks so amazing!!! We are headed to Wisconsin this summer!!!! I will pin this and keep it handy, thank you!

    • admin Post authorReply

      Brandi, Where are you headed?? Let me know if you need any recommendations!

  7. Heather Reply

    You make me want to move to Wisconsin so I can experience all the festivals. Maybe I should check out all the festivals in Colorado where I live.

    • admin Post authorReply

      Yes! Then write a post about Colorado’s festivals, we are planning a trip for this summer!

  8. alison Reply

    I’m questioning my states lack of festivals now. Wisconsin seems to know what it is doing when it comes to festivals. How fun and what a way to bring people together.

    • admin Post authorReply

      Alison, these are only the top 24, there are over a hundred! We love our festivals!

  9. Trisha Reply

    Is it bad that I might be planning a trip around that pretzel?!? *drool*
    What a great idea to share all of the festivals throughout the whole year. Thanks!

    • admin Post authorReply

      Trisha, honestly we can’t get enough of that pretzel! Yes, come, you will love it!!

  10. Tracy @ Cleland Clan Reply

    I never knew Wisconsin had so many different types of festivals! I definitely want to go to the Hot Chocolate Festival. It sounds like so much fun! What a great way to get the family outdoor in the winter!

    • admin Post authorReply

      Wisconsin is a hidden treasure! We love it, there is so much to do!

  11. Jordin Reply

    What a great guide for Wisconsin! I’m trying to visit all 50 states and this is great because I’ll have things to do any time of the year that I decide to travel to Wisconsin.

    • admin Post authorReply

      Jordin, I love that you are traveling to all 50 states. You will love it!

  12. T.M. Brown Reply

    There was a period of time when we lived in Illinois, so close to the Wisconsin border. I now wish we had explored more and ventured up to some of these festivals!

    • admin Post authorReply

      You have to come back at some point, Wisconsin is so awesome in the summer!

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